At A Glance: Recent Work

Plenty of fall containers got planted this past week.  In looking over all the pictures, it is obvious that the star of the show (after Marzela, of course) is the story of the leaves. Ornamental cabbage and kale are known for their substantial leaves. This container is a mass of different types of large blue green leaves, as our fall weather has been too warm for the plants to have taken on their characteristic fall color. Once our warm spell comes to an end, color will become as prominent a feature as the size and texture of the leaves.

Other leaves play just as important a role in our fall containers. Eucalyptus branches have the remarkable ability to absorb both dye and glycerine. That color is a welcome addition to a fall container. Our broom corn stalks come with a wealth of strappy, corn-like leaves, in addition to their wiry seed heads. We hang the broom corn upside down for as long as we can, in our garage. As the leaves dry, they twist and curl in a way only nature could achieve. Those dry leaves contribute much in the way of rhythm to the arrangement.

Cabbage and kale leaves can be glorious, but they are static. The leaves of the Tuscan kale, broom corn and eucalyptus loosen up the composition. Now all we need is some chilly weather, for the colorworks to begin.

David does a terrific job with arranging the broom corn and dry leaves around a bamboo stake. All of the leaves get removed from the stalks, and are added back to the arrangement one at a time. Though his work has an artless, relaxed and tousled look about it, the actual process requires a lot of strength and concentration. If I need a tighter and more tailored look to the centerpiece, I ask Marzela to construct it. This way the both of them are able to exercise their own sense of construction and style. How materials get handled is how a look gets created.

enjoy the pictures.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful fall containers! Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Noreen Kozlowski says:

    Spectacular! You have done it again and I ditto everything Lynn Taggart said!
    Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. Lynn Taggart says:

    Deborah, I want to thank you for your generosity in sharing photos of your work. Your business is based on creating these gorgeous arrangements, and your ideas are your currency. It is such an open-hearted gesture to give your knowledge to home gardeners. I am part of a garden committee at a historic church in Salem, MA, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that we four follow your blog religiously. Often you post something that we have just been thinking about, and we email each other to say “Look – she’s done it again!” We have also learned so much from your “how to” posts. We have a grand stairway leading to our doors, with two columns of three tall containers on either side. We consider them the first welcoming gesture to our liberal, loving community, and when we succeed, it is due in large part to your tutelage. So with admiration for both your creative genius and your generous nature, we salute you.

    • Deborah Silver says:

      Dear Lynn, I cannot thank you enough for your kind letter. If this journal in any way helps you to be a better gardener, then it is, to my mind, a success. best regards, Deborah

  4. The cabbage and kale bouquets are so beautiful!

  5. Your containers are outstanding and beautifully unique. Each designed for the space they occupy. I also love the use of cabbage and kale, and I can’t wait to see the colors when the cold air finally arrives. ( I did not know that the color waits for the cold to arrive.) My container plantings die off in the first cold frost, turning black, soggy and limp. I, too, compost the contents and then replace with my Winter container materials. Today was 69 degrees and even warmer in the sun. Amazing.

  6. I really love looking at your container plantings. Such works of art! They are so very different than those I see in the Pacific Northwest. Would those dried and dyed eucalyptus that you have hold up to our rain for a length of time?

  7. Hi Deborah – I love, and am inspired by your designs. Just a thought- at the end of the fall container season, do you have any farmers nearby that could ‘recycle’ all of the beautiful kale and cabbages for livestock feed?

  8. STUNNING!!!

  9. wowww!!! I really need to step up and add much more interest to my containers!! Thanks for the beautiful photos. I could really see- and appreciate- the unique beauty of the plants and the artistry that goes into the composition of the arrangements!!

  10. All such works of art! Are the cabbage and kale planted later in the summer so that they are “ready” for containers in October?

    • Deborah Silver says:

      Dear Cathy, I am not sure when the seeds are sown for these. We have ours custom grown for us. best, Deborah

  11. Every arrangement was incredibly beautiful and so opulent. I was feeling pretty proud of my mum’s, pumpkins and thick branches display, not so much now! Thanks for your inspiring photos.

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